George Ash, managing director of Universal Music Australia, has been elected chairman of the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) board of directors.

The New Zealand-born executive succeeds long-serving chair John O'Donnell in the post, which comes up for re-election after a year. O'Donnell stepped down after four terms following his exit from EMI Music last year, where he served as CEO.

"The priority for the PPCA board, in its representation of the creative community, is to ensure that we create an environment in Australia, where artists and rights holders get fair value for the use of their music," said Ash in a statement.

The year ahead, he added, "will be an exciting one for artists, rights holders and PPCA as we work together in addressing key issues and matters in an environment where the value of music has not yet truly been rewarded."

There are some newcomers to the board this year, including Mark Poston, chairman of EMI Music Australasia, and recently elected artist representative Dinah Lee.

They join artist management representative Bill Cullen, director of One Louder Entertainment; artist representative Lindy Morrison, former drummer with the Go-Betweens; Denis Handlin, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australasia and Ed St John, president and CEO of Warner Music Australasia.

Sebastian Chase, founder of MGM Distribution, remains as licensor representative until the new financial year. An election on this role is to be held in the next few months.

The licensor representative position is elected annually while artist representatives are appointed to two-year terms.

The PPCA has been providing licenses for public performance and broadcasting for audio and video tracks on behalf of record labels and their artists since 1969. The society is currently contesting the tariff paid by the country's gyms before the Copyright Tribunal of Australia.

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